Novel H1N1 Flu Breaking News: Tamiflu resistance in Japan, deaths in Latin America, help from military, Canada's plan to stretch vaccines

Jul 28, 2009

Japan finds two more Tamiflu-resistant H1N1 cases
Japan has detected two more cases of Tamiflu-resistant pandemic H1N1 flu, Alexander Klimov, PhD, of the CDC's flu surveillance branch, revealed at the CDC's vaccine advisory committee today. He also said that Chinese officials revealed during a World Health Organization conference call that they may have one more antiviral-resistant case. Klimov said all cases so far have been linked to Tamiflu prophylaxis or treatment, except for one involving an American girl who was diagnosed in Hong Kong.
[Jul 29 ACIP meeting agenda]

Latin America has lion's share of H1N1 deaths
Although novel H1N1 flu strain is spreading worldwide, Latin America, currently in its winter season, is being disproportionately hit right now, according to WA, an Australian news service. Of the 816 deaths the World Health Organization has so far confirmed, two thirds have occurred in Latin America, the report said.
[Jul 29 WAtoday article]

UK advises nurseries to remove soft toys
Britain's Department of Children, Schools and Families has
come under fire for issuing recommendations that nurseries and "childminders" remove communal soft toys from care settings to help contain the spread of H1N1 flu, saying the toys cannot be cleaned adequately. The agency also recommend that crayons and pencils not be shared and large assemblies be suspended. Defenders of the guidance say it is sensible but should be administered sensitively so as not to upset children.
[Jul 29 The Times article]

Military may assist with US H1N1 response
US military personnel may work alongside civilian authorities during any significant outbreaks of the H1N1 influenza virus this fall, according a CNN report. Unnamed Department of Defense officials said the proposal is awaiting approval by Secretary Robert Gates. Personnel from all branches of the military may be involved, and it has not been determined whether the troops would be pulled from active duty or from the National Guard and/or reserves.
[Jul 29 CNN article]

Canada to use adjuvanted H1N1 vaccine
Canadian health officials anticipate using an adjuvant to address the possible need to stretch supplies of an H1N1 influenza vaccine this fall, according to a Canadian Press story. Neither Canada nor the United States have licensed flu vaccines with adjuvants before. Health Canada has worked with GlaxoSmithKline on safety studies of the AS03 adjuvant for H5N1 vaccine and is urging the company to do a small trial with an H1N1 vaccine. US officials have been more circumspect on the subject.
[Jul 29 Canadian Press story]

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